After a year's worth of work, seniors in fashion at the Columbus College of Art and Design faced their final critiques as they prepared for a runway show Friday that could launch their careers.
The sketches were done and hung on the wall. The styles were stitched and hung on a rack, except for final garments fitted onto mannequins.
As the students lined up to watch, Suzanne Cotton, chair of the fashion department, gestured to one style and asked its designer to tell her about the print.
Cotton said that the students were given the theme of the show and the criteria for the clothes last spring.
The fashions were supposed to be inspired by both a famous artist and a famous sculptor. Last fall, the student designers began their work in earnest.
Michele Watson tugged at a vivid print dress.
"Usually when I sketch, I sketch plenty of ideas, " Watson said. "And even when I come up with my final idea, it's usually not my garment that I want to put on the runway."
Cotton said that while this year's class is smaller than usual, it faced a bigger challenge.
"Usually the students make a total of four garments. This year we gave them the challenge of, they could create up to six or seven looks," Cotton said.
The fashions for the show were chosen by panel. All six of Amanda Mae Smith's designs were selected for the runway show.
"I like to use natural types of dyes, so this one is made actually with coffee and tea," Smith said.
Smith pioneered a technique to develop a design on velvet, not by stitching, but by burning. First, she created a silk-screen-like image and laid it on the material. Then she used chemicals to cover the design.
"Then you take an iron over it," Smith said. "And you're literally burning out the velvet."
On her tea-colored shirt, the process created the outline of an elephant.
All the models are other students, and Cotton said that she was delighted with the work the young designers have produced.
"I think the students have done a great job," she said.
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